Circuit in Series
The first circuit I made was the Series Circuit. First, I calculated how many amps the resistor needed to be to fit this circuit. I calculated it to need to be 50 amps. I had some trouble understand where I could put what and make each part able to connect on the bread board. I sought help from a fellow classmate who really explained how the bread board worked and where I can put what and why. This really helped me get a grasp on what I was doing and I was able to go off on my own and make this working circuit. I put everything in place and tested it by plugging it in, but it didn't work. I realized I had put the resistor in the wrong hole so it didn't line up with the LED. I tested again and it didn't work again, finding another small problem I needed to fix. I repeated this a few times until I finally got everything in the right place. I was so ecstatic when I turned the switch on and the LED's finally turned on, it was my first ever successful circuit and I felt so proud I made those lights turn on myself!
Circuit in Parallel
The second circuit I built was the Parallel Circuit. I kept everything the same except, I took the LED's and the resistor out. I recalculated the amps the resistor needed to have to work with this circuit/ I calculated the resistor should be 100 amps. I actually had a very hard time finding 100 amp resistor in the BTU lab, so I waited until a classmate was done with his and put them in mine and quickly took them out again. I got this one to work after a couple tries as well. Personally, I thought making the series circuit made more logical sense and it clicked faster for me. It was a little strange needing two resistors instead of one. The parallel circuit was a bit confusing, and it took me a minute to shift mental gears into parallel mode. But it helped a lot already having most of the circuit made from the series circuit.
I created my homemade switch by sticking two stripped wires onto two pieces of copper paper. I then stuck these pieces of copper paper on some foam paper. Then, I put two small, cut pieces of foam between the copper paper to separate them. I plugged the other, stripped ends of the wire, into the same spots as the far edge prongs of the original switch. I then taped the foam/copper/wire pieces all together, so when you pushed the center of the foam, the two copper paper pieces touched, and turned on the circuit!
For the enclosure, I started by moving all the wires to the left side of the breadboard so the LED's and voltage converter were on the same side so I could easily enclose all the wires while the LEDs and voltage converter were easily accessible and visible. I then cut cardboard out and sized it to enclose all the wires on the left side of the breadboard while making the right side flush to the breadboard. This ended up looking like a piano so I just went with it, and colored the cardboard like piano keys while covering the rest of the cardboard in tape to make it look nicer and more finished. The voltage converter is the only thing uncovered, so it is easily accessible when plugging the circuit in. I taped the homemade switch to the left side of the "piano," covering it in the same color tape so its a bit hidden and all looks like a cohesive piece.
Welcome to my progress blog for my Object course at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Enjoy watching my process as my ideas become a reality.